This month Wikimedia CH signed a new partnership with a science GLAM in Switzerland, this time in Lausanne. The partnership includes the providing of a camera based system for the digitization of herbarium specimen (dried pressed plants). But this is only a part of the collaboration. The main result of the partnership will be presented in spring 2014 with the inauguration of a specific audio guide tour for blind or visually impaired visitors of the botanical garden. During the preparation of this tour, the Museum and Wikimedia CH will prepare audio descriptions of selected plants, based on the introductions to Wikipedia articles or completely new texts. The tour will also be improved by the usage of Kiwix-serve to display Wikipedia articles directly on tablets.
§OpenGLAM at the Open Knowledge Conference in Geneva
One of the first events to take place at this year’s Open Knowledge Conference in Geneva was an OpenGLAM Workshop for Swiss cultural institutions and the wider open culture and heritage community that provided an opportunity to exchange experiences and best practices and to develop an action plan for rolling out OpenGLAM activity in Switzerland.
Representatives from the Swiss Federal Archives, the Swiss National Library, and other GLAMs from several European countries gathered alongside directors of digitisation and restoration companies, members of opendata.ch, CreativeCommons Switzerland, and Swiss Wikipedians.
The following topic areas received the most attention during the discussions:
How to reach broader community engagement?
Legal and technical standards
Collaboration with Wikipedia/Wikimedia
Sharing of documents, arguments and statistics at an international level
How to get the opening-up of collections recognized by the GLAM community / the funding bodies?
Importance of realizing quick wins!
With regard to OpenGLAM in Switzerland, the setup of an OpenGLAM working group was proposed that would bring together representatives of NGOs, GLAMs, research institutions and other interested parties that actively work together to promote the OpenGLAM principles in Switzerland.
Later at the same conference, the Open Knowledge Foundation's OpenGLAM Principles were for the first time presented to a larger audience:
Release digital information about the artefacts (metadata) into the public domain using an appropriate legal tool […]
Keep digital representations of works for which copyright has expired (public domain) in the public domain by not adding new rights to them.
When publishing data make an explicit and robust statement of your wishes and expectations with respect to reuse and repurposing […]
When publishing data use open file formats which are machine‐readable.
Opportunities to engage audiences in novel ways on the web should be pursued.
A full version of the OpenGLAM Principles is available on the Open Knowledge Foundation's website. Additional information with regard to the workshop can be found on the OpenGLAM Blog (including the various presentation slides).